Concert February 10 – Celebrate New Directions

Celebrate Romance!  Come Celebrate your PEI Symphony as we welcome guest conductor Mark Shapiro for our third concert of this 45th season.   Come Celebrate Valentine’s Day as we perform Rachmaninoff’s deeply romantic Symphony No. 2 in e minor; and Celebrate new PEI talent as we feature the world première of an exciting new work for full orchestra by PEI composer Dr. Richard Covey, and a performance by young PEI violin talent Adrian Irvine!

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The PEI Symphony Orchestra presents “Celebrate New Directions” , February 10th 2:30pm, at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.  Our program for this concert:

  • Symphony No. 2 in e minor, by Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • Arise, by Richard Covey – world première performance
  • Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor, by Max Bruch featuring Adrian Irvine
[learn_more caption="Special Symphony & Supper Offer with Cedar's Eatery"]

Cedar's Eatery - PEIThe PEI Symphony is delighted to partner with Cedar’s Eatery with the latest edition of our popular “Symphony and Supper” special offer.   Bring two ticket stubs from the February 10th concert, order two entrées, and receive 50% off the second entrée.  Offer valid Sunday February 10th from 4pm to 11pm or Monday February 11th all day, at Cedar’s Eatery at 81 University Avenue.[/learn_more]

On Sunday afternoon February 10th the PEI Symphony Orchestra welcomes guest conductor Mark Shapiro as he leads the orchestra to perform the third concert of this 45th season.   A resident of New York, Mark Shapiro’s work has been praised by the New York Times for its “virtuosity and assurance,” with “uncommon polish,” and has been characterized by the New Jersey Star-Ledger as “erudite and far-reaching.” Dr. Shapiro is currently music director of the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra in New York, Artistic Director of Cantori New York, and principal guest conductor of the chamber orchestra Nova Sinfonia in Halifax.

For the concert Dr. Shapiro has chosen Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in e minor, written in 1906. “Romantic music doesn’t come any more romantic than Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony,” wrote musicologist Barry Fogden in 2008. “. . . There is an epic grandeur to this long work which almost overwhelms the listener. The sweeping melodies – what Rachmaninov called his ‘big tunes’ – come thick and fast…” and the famous third movement inspired the 1976 Eric Carmen song, Never Gonna Fall in Love Again.

Dr. Richard Covey teaches music theory, composition and counterpoint at the University of Prince Edward Island. He is the recent winner of the P.E.I. Symphony’s Call For Scores competition in which P.E.I. resident composers were invited to submit works that demonstrate skills in writing for orchestra. His new work entitled Arise is the result, and the PEISO is truly delighted to present the world premiere performance. Dr. Covey explains “…during one of the coldest and darkest times of year, this piece seeks to awaken, motivate and inspire, drawing upon and developing brief motives from inspirational popular music, including Christian contemporary songs…”

The concert will also highlight another young PEI talent Adrian Irvine performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto #1 in g minor. Adrian is this year’s recipient of the Suzanne Brenton Award, given each year to deserving advanced students who have performed exceptionally in the PEI Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival. Bruch’s famous concerto is a beautiful piece to enjoy so close to Valentine’s Day, with its romantic and sweet melodies.

February also features the return of the annual PEI Symphony Fruit Sale fundraiser.  A popular tradition for more than thirty years, the Fruit Sale is one of the PEISO’s most important fundraisers and a bright spot in the winter for the people who buy the high quality fruit. Symphony supporters will be able to purchase fruit on Saturday’s at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market, on Sunday February 10th in the lobby at the PEISO concert, on Thursdays and Fridays at the Confederation Court Mall, or at the main fundraiser depot at 161 St. Peters Road on Fridays and Saturdays.   Please check the PEI Symphony website for details and the final schedule.

To help make it easy for families to enjoy the beauty and power of live orchestral music, the PEI Symphony continues to offer discounted tickets for children and students at $15 for any seat in the house.

Concerts begin at 2:30pm, and everyone is welcome to the pre-concert talk at 1:15pm in Studio One.  Tickets at the Confederation Centre Box Office, or online.

Come Celebrate your PEI Symphony!

Concert November 25 – Classic Fireworks

Christina Bouey, violin soloist
Christina Bouey to perform Brahms’ Violin Concerto with PEI Symphony Orchestra

Come Celebrate your PEI Symphony as we celebrate an exciting performance with New York’s newest violin sensation, and PEI’s own Christina Bouey!

“Classic Fireworks” , November 25th 2:30pm, at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

  • Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major, by Johannes Brahms, featuring PEI’s Christina Bouey on violin
  • The Firebird, by Igor Stravinski
  • Overture to Hänsel und Gretel, by Engelbert Humperdinck
  • Excerpts from The Dolly Suite , by Gabriel Fauré
[learn_more caption="Special Symphony & Supper Offer with The Maple Grille" state="open"]The PEI Symphony is delighted to continue our partnership with The Maple Grille restaurant with the popular “Symphony and Supper” special offer.   Bring two ticket stubs from the November 25th concert, order two entrées, and receive 50% off the second entrée.  This offer is valid for reservations only on Sunday November 25th and Monday November 26th at The Maple Grille at 67 University Avenue.[/learn_more]

With PEI’s Christina Bouey as featured soloist for the demanding and beautiful Brahms’ Violin Concerto, and Stravinski’s Firebird on the program, this is sure to be a highlight concert for the PEI Symphony Orchestra this year!

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Dr. James Mark announces his retirement


Dr. James Mark to retire from PEI Symphony Orchestra
 

After more than twelve years of inspired music direction and leadership, and many more years of inestimable contributions to the PEISO, Dr. James Mark has decided to retire as Music Director of the PEI Symphony Orchestra.

This current season of the PEI Symphony will be Dr. Mark’s last full season as Music Director, but Dr. Mark will retain a strong connection to the orchestra and will return for special engagements from time to time.  The Board of Directors is very pleased to announce that Dr. Mark will become ‘Conductor Emeritus ‘ for the PEI Symphony Orchestra, effective October 2013.

In the next month the PEISO will be issuing a request for applications for Dr. Mark’s successor.  In the meantime, the rest of this 45th season of the PEI Symphony will be a celebration of the incredible contribution Dr. Mark has made since becoming Music Director in 2000, and the wonderful music created under his direction.

For more information please send a message to president@peisymphony.com or call 902-892-4333.

Concert October 14 – Autumn Tempest

Come Celebrate your PEI Symphony as we celebrate the first concert of our 45th season, presented through the very generous support of the Joan & Regis Duffy Foundation!

“Autumn Tempest” , October 14th 2:30pm, at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

  • Hurricane Juan Piano Concerto, by Canadian composer Peter Allen and featuring Allen as piano soloist
  • “Rákóczi March” from The Damnation of Faust, by Hector Berlioz
  • Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World”, by Antonín Dvořák
[learn_more caption="Special Symphony & Supper Offer with The Maple Grille" state="open"]The PEI Symphony is delighted to continue our partnership with The Maple Grille restaurant with the popular “Symphony and Supper” special offer.   Bring two ticket stubs from the October 14th concert, order two entrées, and receive 50% off the second entrée.  This offer is valid for reservations only on Sunday October 14th and Monday October 15th at The Maple Grille at 67 University Avenue.[/learn_more]

Don’t miss this stormy premier for our 45th season, featuring two popular classics by Beethoven and Borodin, and new works by two talented PEI composers.

 

On Sunday October 14th 2011, the PEI Symphony’s 45th season starts with a storm with an exciting new Canadian work entitled Hurricane Juan Piano Concerto, with the composer Peter Allen performing with the orchestra as the featured piano soloist. Peter Allen has continually delighted audiences with his virtuosity and soulful artistry. As a concert pianist, he is often heard on CBC regional and national radio and is well known to audiences in the Maritimes and throughout Canada for his captivating interpretations. Also on the program is the very popular New World Symphony by Dvorak and the Rákóczi March from The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz. This concert has been made possible by the generous support of the Joan & Regis Duffy Foundation.

Commissioned by CBC Radio 2, the Hurricane Juan Piano Concerto was world-premiered by Symphony Nova Scotia in 2008 with Peter Allen as soloist, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the storm that made such an impact on two provincial capitals. The work features five movements beginning with a ‘pastoral’ and then a second movement which according to Allen expresses the fascination that people feel “when wacky weather starts”. The work then takes an ominous transition to a “much thicker and louder” third movement, “and it’s the longest … because it had to get on your nerves a little bit, just like the storm really did.” The fourth movement features a minimal piano candenza as a transition to the final movement which features bright friendly themes that “mark the camaraderie in the community fostered by the storm”.

“Episodic passages tumbled over one another like a mountain torrent with striking intuitive logic, keeping us on the edge of our seats with its irresistible power” Halifax Chronicle Herald, Sept 28 2008

Peter Allen is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Dalhousie University’s Department of Music, and conducts the Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra.

Also on the program, the Rákóczi March is sometimes referred to as the unofficial state anthem of Hungary. The first version of this anonymous march-song dates from the early 18th century, created to lament the misfortune of the Magyars under the Habsburgs. Refined in the 19th century, the song inspired many references including the popular version Hector Berlioz included within his larger composition La Damnation de Faust in 1846. Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was a key French composer and conductor known for many works including Symphonie Fantastique, for influencing the development of the Romantic movement with composers like Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liszt, Mahler and others, and for his contributions to modern instrumentation and orchestration.

The Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World”, is by far the most popular work by Antonín Dvořák, and one of the most popular works in the entire repertoire for any symphony orchestra. Often known as the New World Symphony, it was written in 1893 while Dvořák was the director of the New York Conservatory. Dvořák claimed to be greatly inspired by Native American music and the African-American spirituals, and felt strongly that North American music should focus on this rich foundation. Others hear the folk music of his native Bohemia in the New World Symphony, but all classical music lovers can find something to treasure in this famous and easily recognizable work.

To help make it easy for families to enjoy orchestral music together, the PEI Symphony continues to offer discounted tickets for youth and students at $15 for any seat in the house.

The PEI Symphony is delighted to continue our partnership with The Maple Grille restaurant with the popular “Symphony and Supper” special offer. Bring two ticket stubs from the October 14th concert, order two entrées, and receive 50% off the second entrée. This offer is valid for reservations only on Sunday October 14th and Monday October 15th at The Maple Grille at 67 University Avenue.

At 1:15pm  PEISO Conductor James Mark will host our regular  Pre-Concert Talk’ in Studio One.  UPEI musicologist Annette Campbell and PEISO Composer-In-Residence Jim O’Leary join Dr. Mark to discuss the music of the afternoon concert, along with interesting aspects of its composition, performance and history

Concerts begin at 2:30pm, and everyone is welcome to the pre-concert talk at 1:15pm in Studio One.  Tickets at the Confederation Centre Box Office, or online.

Come Celebrate your PEI Symphony!

Our 2012-2013 Season!

PEI Symphony Announces 2012-2013 Season

“Celebrate Your Symphony”

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The PEI Symphony Orchestra is excited to announce the program for its’ upcoming 45th season, which includes a number of featured guests and highlights.  The subscription series includes four concerts this year, three under the skilled direction of music director and conductor Dr. James Mark, and for the first time in years the PEI Symphony welcomes a guest conductor!

On October 14th 2012, the season starts with a storm with a new Canadian work entitled Hurricane Juan Piano Concerto featuring composer and piano soloist Peter Allen.  As a concert pianist, Peter Allen is often heard on CBC regional and national radio and is well known to audiences in the Maritimes and throughout Canada for his captivating interpretations, and soulful artistry.  Also on the program is the very popular New World Symphony by Dvorak and the Rackoczy March from The Damnation of Faust  by Berlioz.

On November 25th, the orchestra is pleased to welcome rising PEI violin soloist Christina Bouey to perform Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major, and excited to perform the dynamic and famous The Firebird by Stravinsky!  The program also features the Overture to Hänsel und Gretel by Humperdinck and The Dolly Suite by Fauré.

For the first concert of 2013, on February 10th the PEI Symphony Orchestra welcomes guest conductor Mark Shapiro.  His work has been praised by the New York Times for its “virtuosity and assurance,” which also remarked on its “uncommon polish,” and characterized by the New Jersey Star-Ledger as “erudite and far-reaching.”  Shapiro is currently music director of the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra in New York, Artistic Director of Cantori New York, and principal guest conductor of the chamber orchestra Nova Sinfonia in Halifax whom he has led in performances of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Schubert, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky.  This program will feature Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in e minor, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, and a new work by PEI composer Dr. Richard Covey.

Dr. Covey is the recent winner of the PEI Symphony’s Call For Scores competition.  Earlier this year PEI resident composers were invited to submit works that demonstrate skills in writing for orchestra or large ensemble.   From the submitted works, Dr. Covey was selected by jury, and commissioned to create a new work for the PEISO’s February 2013 concert!

The February program also features another rising PEI violin talent Adrian Irvine, who is the featured soloist for the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Bruch.   Adrian was recently awarded the Suzanne Brenton Award which is given each year to deserving advanced students who have performed exceptionally in the PEI Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival.

For the final concert of the 2012-2013 subscription series, on April 14 the PEI Symphony Orchestra led by Dr. Mark will perform Mozart’s Symphony No. 25, the fun and popular Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns, and the world premiere of another new work by the PEISO’s Composer-in-Residence Jim O’Leary, which will feature international jazz recording artist, Paul Tynan.

PEISO Season Subscriptions are on sale now, and offer the bargain of 4 PEISO concerts for the price of 3.  For subscription forms and more information call 892-4333.  Tickets to individual concerts will go on sale at the Confederation Centre Box Office in mid-September.

For more information, please visit www.peisymphony.com or send a message to marketing@peisymphony.com.

 

Romantic Music for a Summer Evening

Concert “Romantic Music for a Summer Evening”

Saturday, July 28, 2012, 7:30pm, Dr. Steel Recital Hall, UPEI
David Parker, Horn; Karem Simon, Clarinet; Frances Gray, piano

An unusual combination of instruments will be featured at a late-July concert entitled “Romantic Music for a Summer Evening” to be held at the Dr. Steel Recital Hall, University of Prince Edward Island. On Saturday, July 28 at 7:30pm, audience members will be treated to a rare trio by the composer Carl Reinecke. Few trios in the traditional chamber music literature combine clarinet, horn and piano and this is quite possibly a première performance of it on Prince Edward Island. Another featured work is the wonderfully-mature Sonata in F Minor for clarinet and piano by Johannes Brahms, a contemporary of Reinecke. Rounding out the program will be a set of romantic “Pieces Melodiques” for horn and piano by the French composer Charles Gounod. Tickets ($15 adult; $10 seniors/students) will be available at the door beginning at 7pm.

David Parker has been Principal Hornist of Symphony Nova Scotia since 2000.  He has been a member of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Sinfonietta, and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra.  He has also performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Boston Lyric Opera and the Boston Pops Orchestra.  He holds degrees in music from Boston University, the University of Toronto, and Acadia University.  His teachers have included Daniel Katzen, Hermann Baumann and Eugene Rittich.  Further studies have included residencies at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Tanglewood, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, and the Pacific Music Festival. Mr. Parker regularly performs in music festivals and chamber music series including Scotia Festival of Music, the Music Room, the Charlottetown Festival, the Garden Room, St. Cecelia Society, Music at Three Churches, Indian River Festival and the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival.  Mr. Parker teaches at Dalhousie University, the University of Moncton, and is currently the horn teacher and Centre Director of Sistema New Brunswick in Moncton.

Canadian clarinetist Karem J. Simon has been a member of the University of Prince Edward Island Music Faculty since 1991. He is an active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and conductor. A native of Newfoundland and a graduate of the University of British Columbia, Northwestern, and Mount Allison Universities, Dr. Simon has been a featured artist with the Prince Edward Island Symphony, the Saint John String Quartet, and Gros Morne Summer Music. As a member of eklektikos he has been involved with the premieres of contemporary chamber music. Among the major influences of his clarinetistry are Ronald de Kant, Wesley Foster, Clark Brody, Ronald Goddard, and Robert Spring. In 2001 he was recipient of the Association of Atlantic University’s Teaching Excellence Award for Instructional Leadership. Dr. Simon is principal clarinetist of the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra and was conductor of the 2007 National Youth Band of Canada.

Pianist Frances Gray is well known for her solo and chamber music performances, broadcasts, adjudicating and teaching, She has recorded three solo CDs—Poems for Piano, The Evocative Piano, and Soundscapes of Spain, all nominated for ECMA classical music awards.  She has performed throughout Canada, in the United States, England, Belgium, Russia and Australia. She is the pianist/keyboardist with the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra, with whom she has performed many times as concerto soloist. Dr. Gray holds a B.Mus. from McGill University and MM and DM degrees from Indiana University where she studied with Menahem Pressler, renowned pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio. Awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship, Frances Gray spent a year at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. She also attended master class sessions at Tanglewood with the Russian duo-piano team, Victor Babin and Vitya Vronsky.She has been a long-time valued Professor of Piano and Theory at UPEI in Charlottetown and has frequently adjudicated county and provincial music festivals and competitions in the Atlantic Region.

Concerts at The Kirk, Wednesdays at Noon

The summer classical concert series at The Kirk of St. James are on again – a wonderful opportunity to hear live classical music during the lunch hour each Wednesday until mid August.

Wednesday, July 11

James and Penelope Mark, presented a delightful program of clarinet and piano music.

Wednesday, July 18

An exciting program by Karem Simon, clarinet assisted by Krista Carruthers, percussion.

Wednesday, July 25

Saxophonist Sarah McCormack, assisted by Frances McBurnie on piano presented worksby Paule Maurice, Paul Creston and Pierre Max Dubois.  Sarah begins a Masters Degree in Music at the University of Calgary this fall.

 

Wednesday, August 1

Kay Diviney, flute and Frances McBurnie, piano, performed works by Gaubert, Devienne, Roussel, and the charming Suite in b minor by J. S. Bach.  Diviney and McBurnie have been performing in this series since its beginning in 2002.

Wednesday, August 8

The summer classical concert series at The Kirk of St. James continues this week with two talented young brass performers.

Matthew Rowsell graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music. He was a National winner of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals competition. Since leaving UPEI, Matthew attended graduate school for performance in Pittsburgh, PA and Ottawa, ON. He currently lives in Ottawa and works as a full time musician in the Central Band of the Canadian Forces.

Laura MacLeod is studying trumpet at the University of Prince Edward Island with Dr. Gregory Irvine. She has been the principal trumpet in the UPEI Wind Symphony for the past three years as well as principal trumpet in the 2011 National Youth Band of Canada in Montreal, QC. She plays regularly with the Prince Edward Island Symphony

They are assisted in their performances this week by Frances McBurnie, well-known pianist and Music Director at the Kirk of St. James.

The program this week includes Jean Hubeau’s Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, Handel’s Suite in D major for piccolo trumpet, Aria and Polonaise for trombone and piano by Jongen, and an exciting new work for trombone and piano by Filas, Sonata at the End of the Century.

Concerts start by 12:10pm and are usually over by 1pm.   The Kirk of St. James is located at 35 Fitzroy St., Charlottetown PEI.

There is no admission charge, all of the musicians donate their time, talent and skills. Donations from the audience are gratefully accepted. This year the donations will go to the Choral Scholar program at the Kirk of St. James

 

Karem Simon to perform Alexina Louie’s Cadenzas three times in July

The University of Prince Edward Island’s Dr. Karem Simon will be performing Vancouver native Alexina Louie’s Cadenzas, a piece for clarinet and percussion. Cadenzas was premiered on March 22nd, 1986 at The Music Gallery in Toronto.

Dr. Simon will be performing the work on July 1st, 2012, at UPEI’s Dr. Steel Recital Hall, McMillan Hall, and Schurman Market Square (three performances in one day!) He will also be performing the work on July 13, 2012, at UPEI’s Robertson Library, and July 18th, 2012, at St. James Presbyterian Church.

For a preview, here’s a link to the Centrestreams recording of Cadenzas.

Update from our Annual General Meeting

Thank you to all attendees at our PEI Symphony AGM, held Thursday June 21st at the Park Royal United Church.  This past season was a great success and we’re certainly looking forward to another great one this year.

We reviewed reports from our outgoing President Joan MacFarlane, our Music Director Dr. James Mark, our outgoing Treasurer Sam Morgulis, and reports from staff and committees.  Highlights this year included recognizing the wonderful music and soloist performances this year from the four PEI Symphony performances and also by the NAC Orchestra; and recognizing the generous donations by our patrons and volunteer base this past year.  Our audience attendance was up from last season and concert revenues were up 9.1% which were encouraging results to be sure.

Thank yous were made to outgoing Directors Richard Covey, Margo Connors, Brenda Dewar, Teresa Hennebery and Sam Morgulis, and to outgoing Personnel Manager Maggie Lillo for all their contributions over the years.   For this coming season the following Directors were approved:  Dan Rowswell as President, Joan MacFarlane as Past President, Lana Beth Barkhouse, and Karem Simon as Orchestra Liaison.  In addition Sam Morgulis and Teresa Hennebery will continue as Directors until August.  Anyone interested in serving on the Board of Directors is welcome – please call 892-4333 and leave a message or contact vp@ peisymphony.com.

Copies of our audited financials and AGM reports are available to anyone who is interested.

PEI Symphony AGM, Thursday June 21st

The PEI Symphony will have it’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday June 21st at 7pm in the Park Royal United Church.  Please come to the side door off the parking lot, not the sanctuary entrance – and look for the room on the right at the top of the stairs.  Anyone interested in the PEI Symphony is welcome to attend.

You gotta hear us now!